Marlborough blue cod fishery opening for summer
16 December 2011
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is calling on recreational fishers to follow the rules when they go fishing for blue cod in Marlborough this summer.
Field Operations Manager Ian Bright said Fishery Officers would be out and about making sure recreational fishers follow the new rules that were introduced earlier this year.
“The season in the Marlborough Sounds Area (MSA) opens on Tuesday 20 December and runs til the end of August next year,” Mr Bright says. “It’s very important for the future of this iconic fishery that fishers know the rules and apply them. Fishery Officers and Honorary Fishery Officers are willing and able to help them do that.”
The key rules for the MSA are:
- No fisher may possess more than two blue cod, between 30 and 35 centimetres in length
- A two-hook per line limit
- A requirement that blue cod must remain in a whole or gutted state at all times while on the water
- No fishing at all around Maud Island.
Mr Bright said fishers staying in baches and aboard boats were not exempt from these rules. “They may land or transport by sea only two whole or gutted blue cod of between 30 and 35 centimetres on any day.”
A voluntary code of practice is also in place with recommended hook sizes and styles, as well as fish handling methods, to minimise release mortality.
“There are good reasons for the new rules and Fishery Officers will be working with fishers to make sure these are understood and being followed,” Mr Bright said. “They don’t want to write tickets but will if they have to. Fines of $250 to $500 per offence can be imposed on fishers who ignore the rules. Serious breaches can result in confiscation of gear, boats and vehicles.”
Mr Bright said the fishery was to be enjoyed, but in a responsible manner. “While adult blue cod are showing signs of recovery in the Sounds, a cautionary management approach is in place to make sure there are plenty of fish for the future. There are still issues with the health of the fishery. The rules are intended to support reproduction as well as an increase in numbers.”
For information on the Marlborough blue cod fishery, go here>>
Mr Bright went on to add a note about scallop fishing: “Scallops must be landed in the shell, and cannot be shucked or shelled seaward of the high water mark,” he said. “This includes transporting on the water from a permanent or temporary place of residence.
“The exception is that scallops may be opened at sea for consumption on a boat. Scallops that are eaten at sea form part of the fisher’s daily limit. Any scallops landed must be in the shell.”
Anyone seeing suspicious activity in Marlborough or anywhere else should call 0800 4 POACHER (0800 476 224).